... & it became so!

An update to our June 9 blog "Let the land produce..."

Boy, did Fall come quickly! The days are shorter & cooler. The leaves are vibrant with color. Heavier chore coats are needed. Fields are being harvested blanketing our surroundings with a thick coat of dust.

After five long months, our day had finally come. The day had finally come for our very first field of crops to be harvested. We couldn't wait for it to happen! No longer did we need to stress about whether we should have bought crop insurance to protect our beans from drought, hail, floods, or tornados.

When we got the call that our neighbor Mark Chambers would be harvesting the soybeans for us, I was as excited as a child on Christmas Day. I couldn't believe harvest day was here! I peered eagerly out the window, waiting impatiently. First, the grain semi rolled by. Then I had to wait a while longer giving me a chance to get my "good" camera out to charge its battery before seeing the bean head dropped off. I thought it mustn't be long now. Within the next minute, I heard the rumble of the combine. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it's here! Our beans were going to be the beans causing the bean dust people fuss about blanketing their property. Yippee! Both Scott & Kaycee had to tell me numerous times to tone down my enthusiasm. I couldn't understand why they weren't sharing in my exuberance. Well, for one, Kaycee is a tween & could care less about anything as insignificant as combining soybeans.

While I was acting like a giddy little girl, I didn't notice Scott's apprehension. It took me a while (about 10 acres in) to calm down. That's when I finally realized his mood unmatched mine. After prodding, Scott relayed his woes. He worried about the weather forecast & if it would rain earlier than anticipated. He worried about Mark's equipment breaking down. He worried about a financial loss. He worried as he watched the day's rising & falling of crop prices. He worried about selling the beans at the day's closing price or risk holding over for a better price another day. He worried about bushels per acre. He worried about the side of the field that wasn't as abundant as the other. He worried about the dark clouds overhead. He worried as he mentally calculated what was needed to recoup expenses. He worried whether we made the right decision for our family. Now I was worrying. All of a sudden, I didn't want to adult anymore. I wanted to go back to my childlike excitement & drag my husband along with me.

Scott drove us out to the field a few times to watch Mark, his wife, & their farmhand pick our first field of soybeans. We didn't stay the whole duration of the process, but yeah, most of it because I didn't want to miss a thing. I told Scott it felt like I was watching an orchastra. You could tell that Mark & Hope had been doing this for years. Hope seemed to know Mark's every move. She knew when to drive her grain cart right there driving alongside his combine to empty his hopper. Hope knew when her grain cart was full to unload into the semi. I was in awe of Hope's skill & I wanted to be like her when I grew up. Scott reminded me that they probably had onboard computers that told them such things & radios to communicate with each other. Duh. Maybe someday Scott & I could work that well together. He laughed.

We watched with anticipation as their farmhand drove down the lane taking the first semi load to the elevator. We waited for the fill, delivery, & return of the second loaded semi. We watched in silence as Mark stopped mid-field to look over his bean head & come to his pickup for tools. We wondered if we should ask to help or if we would just be a hinderance. We decided we better just sit back & watch the maestro conduct his orchastra from afar.

It fascinated me watching Mark's monsterous machinery on our small homestead. It must've taken Grandpa days to complete with his much smaller, horse powered equipment. Did neighbors help out neighbors back in their day? Maybe the neighbors were too rushed harvesting their own crops before the first snowfall. Did Grandma do the worrying so that Grandpa could concentrate on laboring? I bet she busied her worried mind with baking bread or pies... or maybe she helped him in the field. Again, I find myself with so many unanswered questions about our ancestors' daily lives.

This Spring when Scott & I decided to plant crops, we hoped the risk was worth it. We didn't want to lose. During Scott's worried mental state & upon receiving the elevator ticket from the second semi load, he began to question our decision. As Mark reached the last couple of rows on the lighter side of the field, we worried about whether our final semi load would be full. At one point, Scott sneaked a peek in the trailer. He thought it looked dismal & that we'd be lucky if we broke even. Time seemed to have slowed down as we continued watching Mark unload beans from his combine into Hope's grain cart & into that third semi. We watched the farmhand take the semi down the highway to the elevator for the last time. We waited on bated breath for his return with our elevator ticket. At last, our five month wait was over in just an afternoon. We were rewarded with the ability to worry less about this year's crop & the confidence to continue with a second year of growing crops. Yay! Now, what shall we plant next year?

'Til next time folks!

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